Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Frickin freezing

Those of you in my neck of the woods will probably relate when I complain about the recent cold snap we're facing. Actually I am not REALLY complaining ... I don't really mind cold, I just long for summer instead. But cold is preferable to constant rain, I suppose.

Whenever it gets chilly like this, I'm always reminded of my first month in Medicine Hat several years ago. I arrived there just after New Year's and was totally unprepared for how cold it was. On the flight over from Calgary (the one where they balance the sides of the aircraft based on passengers' weight!) the pilot announced that the weather in the Hat was a brisk -29. At this point I was wearing a sweatshirt with no jacket, and jeans. Because the planes (and the airport) are so small, you have to exit the plane using stairs, rather than the jet bridge you normally see into airports. I don't think I've ever been colder in my life than that day. The Alberta cold is really unique - it gets into you, you feel like everything is frozen, and your face hurts.

That winter was a learning experience for me. Lesson one - never live in Medicine Hat. Just kidding (Mel - don't kill me!). Really, I'm quite thankful for God giving me the opportunity to live somewhere else for several months - I certainly appreciate home much more. I might complain about the rain, but it does bring green grass all year round, and at least my car isn't all sandy/salty from the roads here.

Folks from other parts of Canada often scoff at us westcoasters when we say it's cold. I think they're just jealous. :)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Where's my prize?

I definitely deserve one after the breakfast I just had. To give you some background, we have some family history of poor health which causes my mom to worry that similar problems will happen to my brother and I... so lately I have been consuming more "fibrous foods" to improve my health (which is fine, by the way, so don't panic. I recently got rated in "very good" health - not quite "perfect" like the hubby, but whatever.)

For example, I have been buying a (really expensive) new kind of bread where each slice has 5 g of fibre. (You are supposed to have about 25 g of fibre per day.) It's good bread, made without flour (I suppose they just grind up the whole grains rather than using whole wheat flour) - very dense, and sometimes the grains hurt my teeth. I also try to eat one apple a day. By the way, I used to love Red Delicious apples but they are so mealy... so now, Gala apples. Yum.

Anyway, today, I took the fibre to a new level. The hubby bought some of this stuff the other day:

As per the suggestion on the box, I had a half cup (12 g of fibre!!) today... I ate it with some fat free yogurt (I'm on a roll here). True to my recollection, eating All-Bran is like.. well, imagine you were on the monkey bars in the school playground, and you fell face down with your mouth open into the twigs they use in place of gravel, and then you accidently swallowed some of the twigs. Totally unappetizing.

See? I told you I deserved a prize. I'm willing to accept monetary compensation.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ten more random facts

  1. Fall, winter, and spring are my least favourite seasons.
  2. Rain automatically adds 15 minutes to my commute. Come on, folks, a little water shouldn't prevent you stepping on the gas pedal.
  3. Heroes is such a cool show.
  4. Veronica Mars is even cooler, except that I have missed all the episodes so far this season. Oops! I guess I'll be d/ling....
  5. It's 9:30 PM and I'm feeling sleepy. This is not good.
  6. The teacher on trial right now (for gross indecency...?) is all sorts of disgusting. It's a very upsetting situation and I hate even reading about it. What an arrogant and awful person.... it's so sad.
  7. My toast has NEVER bounced up from the toaster like it does on TV. Is my toaster just not capable of hurling my toast into the air?
  8. The Travelocity gnome is terribly annoying.... I would put him slightly behind the Wireless Wave guy on the radio (why does he have to say "Ro-JERS" and "Fi-DOHHH" like that) and the Spence Diamond guy (I've ranted before about him... he's reaching new lows lately.)
  9. I've managed to bring a lunch to work every day this week. Thanks for packing my lunch, hubby!
  10. Tomorrow is our first hockey game of the season, I can't wait to test out our new seats. And, one of my best friends is coming home for a visit! It's gonna be a good day.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Fancy expensive dinner equals

...small portions of food on giant plates. You all know what I'm talking about, right... well, if I had been by myself I would have taken pictures. I'll give you an example. One of the courses was a tomato "salad". This meant a huge plate on which sat about five different kinds of tomatoes. Not the full tomato, of course, but a stack made up of a slice of a normal red tomato, a smaller slice of a yellow tomato, a smaller slice of some other type of tomato, etc, until the very top, which was a full grape tomato. Wow, filling. All the courses were accompanied by "local" wines ... unfortunately I am uncultured and have not yet developed a liking for wine. There was also some sort of tortellini (just one) filled with beef, sitting on top of some sort of vegetable, and over the entire plate was poured some veal consomme. Sigh.

I think the oddest part of the dinner was that of the five courses, for four of them I had to use the same glass for wine. I know next to nothing about wine, but I would have thought at least they could have given us different glasses for white and red wines. But no. In fact at one point I suppose my wine consumption was a little behind, so the waitress asked me to drink what was left in my wine so she could put a new wine in my glass. Not, in my opinion, the best customer service.

Anyway, the conference was good, and the hotel room was surprisingly nice, so that I almost didn't mind paying the $120. ALMOST.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Goodbye, Costa Rica... Hello ....

CHILE, SOUTH AMERICA! Yes ... a new destination has just been announced for our January missions trip and we are off to the long and skinny country of Chile. I'm super excited and have no idea where in Chile we'll be going, but it doesn't really matter. It's just exciting.

In other news, this is my fourth day back at work since the vacation, and it hasn't been a great week here at the office. Bad things happen in groups, that's for sure. I am looking forward to the weekend.... sort of ... to update, I have to go to Victoria this weekend (so I'll miss fellowship and church again!) for a conference. I already blogged about this conference, and I've decided to suck it up and attend the dinner. It still nags at me that my hard earned money is being spent on a meal. Well, I'll post an update after the dinner.

By the way, Mexico was fun, but very tiring. I learned, once again, that travelling with other people who are not as cool as your husband is extremely difficult. I also learned that I have a very short temper. Just kidding - I knew that long ago! The weather there was hot and dry, and the best part about the wedding was the 12 player mariachi band. Fantabulous. The worst part was realizing that someone we had met might possibly be, well, let's go with a "bad person". Anyway, congrats to the newlyweds, who are right now enjoying a sunny week in the Mayan Riviera.

Let's see... what else is new... I recently made some small (on sale!) purchases from a seller on Etsy.com and I'm quite happy. It's a cool site where people sell handmade stuff, crafts, jewelry, etc. I always think it's nicer to pay the artist than to pay some large corporation for stuff that has been made in a foreign country and then marked up to ridiculous levels. I suppose there's something to be said about the (corporation?) of Etsy.com itself profiting from the crafty endeavours of others, but I'll choose to be wilfully ignorant of the facts for the moment and just say, funky handmade pendant for only a few dollars? Sign me up.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Ten random facts about our trip so far

  1. The plane ride from DFW (Dallas, for you non-airport-code-savvy people) was extremely turbulent. Gotta love the small planes.
  2. Pancho Villa was not so named because he wore a poncho.
  3. Kiefer Sutherland was in Stand By Me (well blow me over, I've never seen this movie.)
  4. You can get your shots and drink only bottled water, but undercooked chicken will make you sick in any country.
  5. It is extremely difficult to travel in a country where you don't know the language.
  6. Drivers here take many risks. Why bother waiting behind someone when you can just use the shoulder to cut him off?
  7. Tony the Tiger endorses cereal here too - but it's called Zucaritas!
  8. A "tuna blanca" is a prickly fruit with a million seeds and a pear-like texture. It is NOT delicious.
  9. Spanish is a lot like French - except that French makes so much more sense to me.
  10. The wedding is in a few hours, and I gotta go!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happiness is ...

Okay, I normally am a big Starbucks fan as opposed to any other coffee place, but seriously, the best drink EVER is the Dark Chocolate Mocha at Blenz. It is fabulous. Blenz uses real chocolate instead of that syrupy stuff. It's just the right combination of bitterness and sweetness. Yum.

Well, we're off to Mexico tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving to all, or for our American friends, Happy Columbus Day! I'll post some pics when I get back.

In the meantime here is a picture of me in my legal attire, from my call ceremony ... and no there is no wig. Sorry to disappoint.

Friday, October 06, 2006

...but would you at least like to know what I had for breakfast?

This fun blogger recently wrote a book called "No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for your Blog". I admit that I haven't actually read the book, but on two of my favourite blogs, this book has been mentioned and used as well. Maybe one day I'll get around to reading it, and my blog? WILL BECOME FABULOUS. Just you wait.

Anyhoo. I'm sitting at my desk, drinking a lovely Grande Starbucks Awake Tea Misto (with Vanilla). I try not to buy into the Starbucks mentality more than once a week (one might argue that by getting a drink from there at all, I've already bought into the mentality - but that argument is for another post) - and when I do go to Starbucks, I go with the intention of buying a big fancy drink, and then I end up with a small fancy drink, or a big non-fancy drink. By small fancy drink, I usually mean a tall Caramel Macchiato (Non-fat), or a tall Mocha (Non-fat, Easy Whip) ... and by big non-fancy drink - well, that's the Tea Misto (also known as a London Fog).

It's a lovely combination of Earl Grey tea, steamed milk and foam, and some vanilla syrup. The best part is that since the tea is made with near-boiling hot water, I never have to complain about how my drink is lukewarm. That is the most frequent complaint about the Starbucks near our office - they have a problem making drinks the right temperature. I'm not sure if their thermometers are different from EVERY OTHER STARBUCKS but somehow, "lukewarm" is just the best way to describe them.

I'm always reminded of the verse in Revelation where God says to a church that their deeds are neither cold nor hot, lukewarm in fact, so he will spit them out. I'm sure this verse can be interpreted in different ways, but to me one meaning has always been that God isn't looking for Christians who don't really care, who don't seek him, who don't realize their own shortcomings.

It always makes me think.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm normally so well prepared

In a few short days, we're off to Mexico for a week to enjoy some fun in the sun. This is, at least, the plan. Unfortunately, I have no idea whether there will be sun, and as for fun, well, this isn't one of those typical-me trips where things are well planned and organized. Oh wait - I've just looked at the weather forecast and it appears we'll have mid-20s in the daytime, but fairly chilly evenings. Hmm. Some rain as well.

I am feeling a bit apprehensive about this trip, mostly because it's not an area I'm familiar with, and I'm going with a bunch of guys who don't seem to care much about whether the trip is organized. Apparently everyone's just looking forward to some Mexican beer. I can't recall the name of said beer, but I'm sure I'll figure it out after a few days. They're also looking forward to making odd purchases like buying "authentic" Mexican wrestling masks. Nacho Libre-style, I suppose.

In other trip-related news, we just got word that our trip to Costa Rica is now our trip to "destination as yet unknown." Was there a war in Costa Rica that I missed? I'm not sure. In any event, I don't know why the destination has changed, but I know the purpose has not. More updates when we receive them.

Hmm - I'm all out of things to say!